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Match Reports
Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2001-2002 - Match 18

With many thanks to Brian Judson, without whom this feature would not be possible

Tuesday, 18 December 2001
Arsenal v Newcastle United 1-3

There was a stormy ended to this match as Thierry Henry exploded in frustration and tried to confront referee Graham Poll. Henry had to be frogmarched away from the referee. It had all looked so different earlier. Pires had put the Gunners ahead in the 20th minute when he scissor-kicked the ball across the goalmouth where Cole was waiting to play the ball back to Pires, who hammered the ball home. Near the end of the first half, Parlour was dismissed when he picked up a second yellow card. Shearer tried to prevent Parlour from being sent off as there was no malice in the tackle but it was to no avail. O'Brien equalised for Newcastle in the 60th minute when Lua Lua took a corner and O'Brien headed home. Bellamy was then sent off for apparently catching Cole with his arm. Then with five minutes to go, Campbell conceded a penalty by bringing down Robert. Shearer made no mistake with his 85th minute penalty. Robert then ensured the points were destined for Newcastle by adding a third goal in the 90th minute. The victory took Newcastle to the top of the League by virtue of having scored more goals than Liverpool.

Wednesday 19 December 2001
Leeds United v Everton 3-2

This match was overshadowed by Bowyer's refusal to accept disciplinary action by Leeds following the end of his court case and being placed on the transfer list. He has been given an ultimatum that he must accept the discipline imposed or he will be transferred from Leeds.

Viduka put Leeds ahead after 19 minutes when Kelly had supplied the centre from which Viduka headed home. Gascoigne came on as substitute for Pembridge shortly afterwards. Fowler added a second goal for Leeds in the 26th minute when he chested the ball down and hammered it behind Simonsen. Pistone was carried off with a badly swollen knee. Fowler ensured Leeds would win when he added a third goal in the 71st minute when Xavier deflected a Batty shot into Fowler's path for the Merseysider to gratefully score. Moore reduced the arrears in the 84th minute when he volleyed the ball home. Weir reduced the arrears further in the 90th minute when he headed home Tal's corner but it was too late.

Saturday 22 December 2001
Charlton Athletic v Blackburn Rovers 0-2

The visitors grabbed two second-half goals to snatch the points. Both came late in the match. Duff scored the first in the 57th minute when Gillespie provided the pass that gave him the chance to score. Deep in injury time, Dunn snatched a second goal when Gillespie tore down the wing and centred the ball for Dunn to score.

Derby County v Aston Villa 3-1

Two of the four goals came deep in injury time as both sides spurned a host of chances. Kinkladze took a corner, Riggott chested the ball down and Ravenelli fired the ball behind Schmeichel. Within seconds, Angel had hooked home an equaliser. Villa looked certain to be taking the points home as they dominated the early stages of the second half but could not score again. In the 67th minute, Ravenelli's cross caught Schmeichel in two minds and Carbone took advantage of it to fire Derby ahead. With three minutes left, Christie added a third as Villa pushed forward for an equaliser. Burton provided the pass from which Christie scored.

Leeds United v Newcastle United 3-4

This match was overshadowed by events that occurred off the field two years ago. Bowyer made a comeback in this match after several weeks on the injured list and a few days after making a brief appearance on the transfer list. Newcastle took a 38th minute lead when Shearer sent Dyer down the right wing to send a low pass into Bellamy's path for the latter to give the Magpies the lead. Barely had the celebrations ended but Leeds were level. Viduka slipped the ball to Bowyer, who eluded Dabizas on the edge of the penalty area to fire a low shot home. Bowyer provided the pass for Johnson, who fed Viduka in the 50th minute to give the Australian the opportunity to turn O'Brien and fire a shot that put Leeds ahead. Six minutes later, Harte increased their lead when a mishit shot from Bowyer dropped nicely for him to push them further ahead. But within two minutes, Elliott had reduced the arrears by heading home. Bakke was then adjudged to have handled a ball in the penalty area which Shearer converted in the 71st minute. Then, in the final minute, Solano strode through the Leeds defence to give the Magpies an improbable winner to keep them at the top of the table.

Leicester City v West Ham United 1-1

The match was overshadowed by the dismissal of Leicester skipper Elliot in a flare-up with Trevor Sinclair. Izzet had put Leicester ahead two minutes before the break when James failed to hold a cross from Oakes and the ball went for a corner. From the corner, James pushed the ball to Scowcroft, who pushed the ball back for Izzet to score from 20 yards out. With 17 minutes left, Elliot appeared to bring down Joe Cole and the referee awarded a penalty. Elliott headbutted Sinclair and was promptly sent off. Di Canio took the penalty by conning Walker into thinking he was going to put the ball one way and then sent it the other.

Manchester United v Southampton 6-1

There were only 20 seconds on the clock when van Nistleroy fired Manchester United ahead. A second goal followed in the 34th minute when Butt saw a shot rebound off Williams and Keane headed the ball to van Nistleroy, who prodded the ball home from six yards. Solksjaer forced the ball home four minutes before the break from a Butt corner. Van Nistleroy completed his hat-trick in the 54th minute when he was put through by Scholes. Southampton then scored a consolation goal when Telfer crossed into the middle for Pahars to score. Giggs provided the pass from which Keane scored in the 72nd minute and the Welshman provided the pass from which Phil Neville completed the rout in the 78th minute.

Middlesbrough v Fulham P-P

The pitch was playable but the game was called off because the streets around the ground were ice-bound.

Sunderland v Everton 1-0

Reyna scored the only goal of the game in the 77th minute when Unsworth could only deflect a shot from Phillips into Reyna's path for the American to score. There were very few shots otherwise in an unremarkable match. It has to be said however that part of the match was played in a blizzard of snow.

Tottenham Hotspur v Ipswich Town 1-2

As is my normal custom, I am not commenting on this match except to say that I have seen the Sheringham incident and think that from the angle of the TV camera he DID punch the Ipswich defender. Full report available here

Sunday 23 December 2001
Chelsea v Bolton Wanderers 5-1

Nolan put Bolton ahead after only 3 minutes when a corner was partially cleared by Chelsea but Gardiner pushed the ball back to Frandsen whose low cross was headed home by Nolan. Chelsea equalised in the 41st minute when Hasselbaink provided the pass for the Icelander to equalise. Deep in injury time, Hasselbaink put Chelsea ahead when put through by Gudjohnsen. Zenden made sure of the points when he lobbed the ball home in the 56th minute. Hendry then conceded a spectacular own goal in the 76th minute. With three minutes left, Lampard completed the rout.

Liverpool v Arsenal 1-2

This was Liverpool's first home defeat by a London side since Spurs won at Anfield in 1993. They have only themselves to blame. Arsenal were already down to 10 players as Van Bronckhorst was sent off for two bookable offences early in the first half, disrupting the Gunners. Owen thought he had scored as he was sure the ball had crossed the line before Cole hooked it clear. But Henry fired them ahead after a penalty after Dudek had upended Ljungberg in injury time. Pires then robbed Gerrard of the ball in the 53rd minute and provided the pass from which Ljungberg scored. But Liverpool reduced the arrears three minutes later when Riise and Litmanen swapped passes for the latter player to score. Liverpool piled on the pressure but their shooting was poor and Owen out of form and they never really looked like scoring again.

Pos              Pl. W. D. L. For-Ag Pts.
  1  Newcastle   18 11  3  4  34-23   36
  2  Arsenal     18  9  6  3  37-22   33
  3  Liverpool   17 10  3  4  26-17   33
  4  Leeds       18  8  8  2  26-17   32
  5  Man Utd     18  9  3  6  43-28   30
  6  Chelsea     18  7  9  2  28-13   30
  7  Spurs       18  8  3  7  30-25   27
  8  A. Villa    18  7  6  5  24-22   27
  9  Everton     18  6  5  7  23-23   23
 10  Fulham      17  5  8  4  17-17   23
 11  Sunderland  18  6  5  7  14-17   23
 12  Blackburn   18  5  7  5  25-21   22
 13  Charlton    18  5  7  6  21-22   22
 14  Bolton      18  5  6  7  21-26   21
 15  West Ham    18  5  6  7  20-29   21 
 16  M'brough    17  5  4  8  17-23   19 
 17  So'ton      17  5  1 11  18-30   16
 18  Derby       18  4  4 10  14-31   16 
 19  Leicester   18  3  6  9  12-32   15   
 20  Ipswich     18  2  6 10  17-28   12

Cheers, Brian

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